Joe Biden wiped away tears while remembering his late son Beau, the former attorney general of Delaware who died in 2015 following a brain cancer diagnosis, a battle and loss that the 2020 Democratic presidential primary nominee has shared in emotional moments with voters.

The former vice president told host Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's Morning Joe that "Beau should be the one running for president, not me".

Mr Biden recalled Beau grabbing him by the lapel after vice presidential debates in 2008 and 2012, when Mr Biden was the running mate alongside Barack Obama.

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He remembered how Beau would embrace him and say, "'Look at me, dad. Remember: home base. Just remember who you are.' ... He'd grab me by the lapel. He still grabs me by the lapel. Sorry, I'm getting emotional."

Asked whether Beau remains with him and offers guidance and inspiration, Mr Biden said: "Every morning I get up, Joe, not a joke, I think to myself, 'Is he proud of me?' because he's the one who wanted me to stay engaged ... He walks with me. I know that sounds to some people kind of silly but he really honest to God does. I know he's in me."

The former vice president has spoken at length about his mourning and grief after the deaths of his family members, including his wife Neilia and one-year-old daughter Naomi, who both died in a car accident in 1972.

His public losses and recovery from traumatic events have significantly shaped Mr Biden's political career, from his views on health care to his approach to connecting with crowds over shared grief.

He said that "hundreds of people ... throw their arms over me" to tell him about the loss of their sons, daughters and spouses, and "all they want to know is that they can make it".

"The way you make it is you find purpose and you realise they're inside you", he said. "They're part of you. It's impossible to separate."

Beau Biden shares a joke with then-president Barack Obama as his father is sworn in for a second term as vice-president at the US Capitol in January 2013

Mr Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are nearly neck and neck as the Iowa caucus approaches on 3 February, when the first votes in the US will be cast for a presidential nominee in the 2020 election. The latest CNN poll has Mr Sanders polling at 27 per cent and Mr Biden at 24 per cent, both in double digits ahead of forecasted front-runners Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg.

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